Disney star and singer Zendaya Coleman — who goes by the single name Zendaya — talked about her reasons for exiting a planned Lifetime biopic about the late R&B and hip-hop star Aaliyah. Variety reports that Zendaya posted a series of Instagram videos on the subject following the announcement that she was being replaced in the project by Alexandra Shipp.
Zendaya took the opportunity to refute rumors that her exit had to do with her not being “talented enough” or “black enough," the article reports.
The report quotes Zendaya saying: “The production value wasn’t there, there were complications with the music rights and I just felt like it wasn’t being handled delicately considering the situation."
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.
In the Instagram messages, Zendaya "went as far as saying she didn’t feel 'morally okay moving forward with the project' after she was unable to get in contact with the singer’s family." Variety reports.
The story quotes Zendaya telling reporters back in June: “Basically, I just felt that because I love her, and because I respect her so much as an artist, I don’t want to do anything that’s half or anything that’s less for her. I felt like some things with the production weren’t all the way there, the project wasn’t all the way there. If I’m going to do something for someone I care about so much, I have to do it the right way.”
The variety article notes: "The project has generated significant pushback from the late R&B star’s fans, including an online petition to shut down production, and family members. Production was supposed to start this summer and the TV movie was slated to premiere in the fall."